Innistrad denizens interested in commerce are attracted to Nephalia, which makes for an interesting mix of occupations and races in the province. Nephalia has numerous towns in which order is maintained by Avacynian clergy and their representatives. It has a "stock" of humans to be fed upon, thus the Stromkirk line is well represented here. It has busy trade routes with caravans of merchants and townsfolk milling between the cities for the Krallenhorde to prey on. And it has the ever-present Nebelgast, the so-called "Breath of the Sleepless," that rolls in and out with the tide, bringing with it a host of geists.
In Nephalia, skaberen (creators of skaabs, the alchemically vivified constructions of flesh) and ghoulcallers (practitioners of necromancy) alike can find out-of-the-way places in which to practice and further their art with little or no interference from suspicious townsfolk or Avacynian authority. Both must remain highly secretive, as their trade is still feared within the general human populace, but the Stromkirk vampires and Nephalia's merchants see money to be made, so their arcane trinkets and dark services are tolerated as long as they remain only rumors at the local taverns.
The merchants, known as the metzalar, are the glue that binds Nephalia together. They keep every separate party joined together by the exchange of goods and services and, of course, coin.
Nephalia has always been lightly forested, but in the last century its few trees have been cut down or destroyed due to the vampires' fear of them being turned on them as stakes and other weapons. Runo, progenitor of the Stromkirk line, was crafty in his removal of the woodlands. Early on, using his glamers and sizeable fortune, he turned the human populace into artisans, supporting their efforts in building fine cities, proud ships, and a vigorous, provincial commerce—all based around wood. Prosperous and plentiful humans are good business for the Stromkirk, so Runo became a kind of secret Nephalian patron, supporting master craftsmen and commissioning buildings, towers, and ships, while funding any vampire-friendly efforts by alchemists and magisters. Out of this, Nephalia has become widely known for its masterful crafting and artistry with wood. Nephalian buildings, ships, chapels, and houses all bear a distinct and inspired art that sets it apart from the other provinces.
This province is defined by water - by its access to the ocean (the easiest of any province), by its many rivers that lead deep inland, and by its deltas, marshes, and lakes. Water enables commerce here but also gives Nephalia a silvery, mystical character; the clouds and the moon seem to be both above and below in most places.
Nephalia's coastline consists of the Silver Beach, which stretches countless miles, interrupted by rocks, sea caves, and occasional large promontories. The sands of the beach are rich in granular silver, giving them an unearthly shimmer that dazzles visitors from other provinces. This is no vacation spot, however. Threats are far too numerous, and the ocean too dangerous, to invite beachcombers. Only experienced Nephalian sailors know the spells and the land well enough to venture out into the sea and return with fish, trade goods, or treasure.
A haunted fog known as the Nebelgast shrouds the cities along Nephalia's coast. The mist-cloaked coasts of Nephalia are the site of many of shipwreck, and therefore the site of many a sailors' graveyard. The ghoulcallers of Nephalia love this kind of seaside cemetery, which they call "seagrafs", seeing them as handy hunting grounds for necromantic-ready corpses.
Geographical Features in Nephalia